Apple released the 17″ MacBook Pro today which was a big surprise to me. Then again, Apple was at NAB so that is a good time for them to announce new hardware.

I’ve currently got the 17″ 1.33Ghz PowerBook G4. So let me do a quick comparison (this is the current 17″ MBP vs the 17″ PBG4 when I bought mine 2 years ago):

Display: 1680×1050 vs 1400×900 – that is a HUGE difference – that’s effectively the same screen size as the 20″ iMac

Processor: 2.16Ghz Intel Core Duo vs 1.33Ghz G4 – I’m starting to feel really sloooow now

Standard RAM: 1GB vs 512MB – double the capacity (and it is DDR667 vs DDR333) and twice as fast (though you can still only go up to 2GB)

Trackpad: Scrolling vs just regular (though you can get SideTrack)

USB ports: 3 vs 2 – I don’t know if this is really that useful. I think I’d rather have either an external SATA connector or another Firewire port.

Hard drive: 120GB 5400 rpm vs 100GB 4200RPM – bigger and faster

BTO Hard drive upgrade: 100GB 7200 RPM vs 80GB 5400 RPM – 7200RPM is the fastest you can get – though you give up capacity both times

Optical drive: 2x single-layer DVD-R vs 8x single/2.4x dual

What’s missing? Internal modem (which is where the port space for the 3rd USB came from)

What’s completely new? Built in iSight, remote control, and the MagSafe power connector.

What’s just different? The security connector is on the right hand side close to you vs on the left hand and farthest away from you. Not sure if I like that design.

Price: $2799 vs $2999

There’s no contest. Apple’s premiere laptop has gotten WAY better in 2 years. This is a great deal if you’re looking for the ultimate in mobile computing. (p.s. If you live in the US and are a developer, I would suggest getting ADC Select because you can get a good deal on the MacBook Pros with the hardware discount.)

My only decision now is: Should I buy the 17″ MBP with the 7200RPM HD upgrade or should I buy either the 17″ or 20″ iMac and save the difference towards my “The Life” fund?